The US Army is set to make a decision on whether former captive and army deserter Bowe Bergdahl should be paid wages from the day he walked out of camp (deserting his post) to the day he was dishonorably discharged from the military. This would come to around $300,000.
According to Fox, “Captive soldiers normally receive special compensation worth around $150,000 in addition to hostile-fire pay and their basic pay they accumulated during the captivity.”
Bergdahl was listed as missing-captured by the military, but just because that is how a record was filed, does it mean that he should receive it? Let me make an example…
If you worked at Starbucks, and you left one day, just walked right out while other staff members were relying on you, do you think that Starbucks should continue to pay your salary beyond the day you essentially quit and stopped working?
Sure, Bergdahl was captured. But wasn’t this actually a likely outcome of his desertion. To go wandering off into Taliban controlled territory was a bad, stupid move. If he hadn’t deserted, it wouldn’t have happened. There has to be some element of personal responsibility here.
It’s ridiculous that Bergdahl should get anything beyond treatment for injuries incurred (including mental health). He left. He walked out. He ungraciously self-terminated his contract with the military, thereby making himself ineligible for pay and compensation.
Back to the Starbucks analogy. If upon quitting my Starbucks job, I decided to walk into a gun range and through my own carelessness got myself shot, should Starbucks be paying me for that too?
Bergdahl shouldn’t have been in the army in the first place. This was a military failure to let someone in who was so fragile (based on his former disqualification), but where does the responsibility end and begin?